call (all) the shots

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call (all) the shots

To dictate how a situation or agenda proceeds, as from a position of authority. My staff has to do what I say because I'm the boss, and I call all the shots here! Mom calls the shots for Thanksgiving dinner, so you better get her approval for any dish you want to bring.
See also: call, shot

call (all) the shots

to decide on the course of action; to be in charge. Why do you have to call all the shots? Do what you're told. I'll call the shots.
See also: call, shot

call the shots

 and call the tune
Fig. to make the decisions; to decide what is to be done. Sally always wants to call the shots, and Mary doesn't like to be bossed around. They don't get along well. Sally always wants to call the tune.
See also: call, shot

call the shots

Exercise authority, be in charge, as in It's up to the boss to call the shots. This term probably alludes to determining accuracy in target practice. [Mid-1900s] Also see call the tune.
See also: call, shot

call the shots

INFORMAL
COMMON If you call the shots, you are the person who makes all the important decisions in an organization or situation. Is the military really the power behind the President now? Who really calls the shots? He had to be the one calling the shots, in control of everything. Note: This may refer to someone shooting and saying which part of the target they intend to hit. Alternatively, it may refer to a snooker or pool player saying which ball they intend to hit or which pocket they intend to hit it into.
See also: call, shot

call the shots (or tune)

take the initiative in deciding how something should be done; be in control. informal
Call the shots was originally an American phrase, first recorded in the 1960s. Call the tune comes from the saying he who pays the piper calls the tune , which dates from the late 19th century.
1996 Sunday Telegraph Britain is no longer run from Downing Street. It's Brussels that calls the shots.
See also: call, shot

call (all) the shots

tv. to decide on the course of action; to be in charge. Why do you have to call all the shots?
See also: all, call, shot

call the shots

verb
See also: call, shot
References in periodicals archive ?
Maybe the couple aren't calling all the shots after all
But, it seems like the Russian president, Vladimir Putin, is the one calling all the shots on the diplomatic stage.
It certainly seems that Sky TV is now calling all the shots and that's what happens when colossal sums of money are involved in broadcasting rights.
Yesterday's Oireachtas hearings revealed failed institutions Anglo and AIB are still calling all the shots while toothless Government ministers are powerless to rein them in.
As the 'noble' ones calling all the shots in this industry, where do we see you exercising your responsibility to the serfs in your fiefdom?
Calling all the shots, Bay's Luke Denson volleyed against the bar while Sheridan was unlucky to hit the post with a scorching shot that stayed out.
But unfortunately it is the PCB who is calling all the shots," The News quoted Sohail, as saying.
It's a power grab, and I would rather have open government and elected officials making decisions in the open than have a puppet behind closed doors calling all the shots.
Tory leader Michael Howard meanwhile renewed his demand for a top British envoy to be sent to Iraq to stop theUS calling all the shots
Tony Blair was last night under mounting pressure to send a top envoy to Iraq to stop the US calling all the shots.
It's no longer legislators or regulators calling all the shots and setting policy," Poole says.
McKenna was calling all the shots, but he rashly squandered two golden opportunities.
With big carriers and forwarders no longer calling all the shots, Ortiz predicts: "The future's going to wind up being Internet and high tech.
His dreams of calling all the shots at Spurs ended in tears three years ago following his high- profile fall-out with Alan Sugar.
He's calling all the shots and that's not a relationship - well, not a happy one, anyway.